You are here


No article yet exists on this topic. The following are primary source references to tools compiled by Monticello researchers.

Primary Source References[1]

1780s. (Isaac Jefferson). "My Old Master was neat a hand as ever you see to make keys and locks and small chains, iron and brass. He kept all kind of blacksmith and carpenter tools in a great case with shelves to it in his library...been up thar a thousand times; used to car coal up thar. Old Master had a couple of small bellowses up thar."[2]

1786 March 3. (Jefferson to Rayneval). "...Vergennes having been pleased to say he would give orders at Calais for the admission of certain articles which I wish to bring with me from follows...A box containing small tools for wooden and iron work, for my own amusement..."[3]

1786 April 4. "Pd. Robinson for a chest of tools L11-3."[4]

1790 July 17. (Grevin's invoice). A leather pouch of iron tools (Crate 40) and a box containing tools (Crate 43) were part of Jefferson's furniture packed for shipment from France.[5]

1798 December 20. (Jefferson to Thomas Mann Randolph). "Should Mr. Madison send for my diamond it is in the upper part of the tool chest, in the cell adjacent to the lock of the box."[6]

1801-1809. (Margaret Bayard Smith). "The apartment in which he took most interest was his cabinet; this he had arragned according to his own taste and convenience. It was a spacious room. In the centre was a long table, with drawers on each side, in which were deposited not only articles appropriate to the place, but a set of carpenter's tools in one and small garden implements in another from the use of which he deprived much amusement."[7]

1806-1822. (Edmund Bacon). "He was nearly always busy upon some plan or model...Mr. Jefferson was the most industrious person I ever saw in my life...At all other times he was ither reading, writing, talking, working upon some model, or doing something else."[8]

1809 August. (Margaret Bayard Smith). "In one of the rooms [in the Library], we remarked a carpenters workbench, with a vast assortment of tools of every kind and description. This, as being characteristic, is worthy of notice; the fabrication with his own hands of curious implements and models, being a favourite amusement."[9]

After 1826. Cornelia Randolph's floor plan of Monticello, drawn after Jefferson's death, includes no. 27, a large "Work Bench," in the South Piazza.[10]

1830 February. (Anne Royall). "There were besides these [Entrance Hall, Parlor, Dining/Tea Room], four rooms on the lower floor, two on the right and two on the left, those on the right were quite small to those on the left: one was the room in which Mr. Jefferson worked, which it appeared he did, from the appearance of the room, the impliments for working in wood, squares, &c. lying about the room, --the one next to it, wsa Mr. Jefferson's chamber in which he died."[11]


  1. Please note that this list should not be considered comprehensive.
  2. Bear, Jefferson at Monticello, 18.
  3. PTJ, 9:313.
  4. MB, 1:618.
  5. Library of Congress.
  6. PTJ, 30:604.
  7. Smith, First Forty Years, 385.
  8. Bear, Jefferson at Monticello, 73, 84.
  9. A Winter in Washington], (New York: Bliss and White, 1824),. 3:264.
  10. University of Virginia.
  11. Bear, Visitors, 117-118.


Login or register to participate in our online community.